STATS (as of Day 7 – yes, I know today is Day 8…shut up!)
TOTAL WORDS: 11,338
WORDS PER DAY (AVERAGE): 1,619
I mentioned in my last blog the (somewhat) importance of having enough of a word cushion in the event you fall behind. I was 600 words ahead, now I’m 50 words behind; if you add today’s expected word-per-day average, then I’m 250 words behind.
Then again, I’m not lagging behind so badly. I also took comfort in Catherine Lumb’s post on how to best approach NaNoWriMo – “The Long Winding Road of How to Be a Writer.” She wrote it from the perspective of a chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer, but her advice is pretty sound regardless. I’m not beating myself up for being behind, even if it’s by the smallest of margins.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far. Even though I’m not self-editing while I’m writing, what I’m writing isn’t making me want to do this:
Wanna read an excerpt? Keep reading…all good things to those who wait.
Speaking of blogs, I had a chance to catch up on reading some bloggers who I subscribe to. I’ve linked a few blogs that caught my attention, especially telling during NaNoWriMo time.
Word Hard, Respect Your Fellow Writers – the importance of being not just a friend to a writer, but also offering honest feedback.
Six Compelling Antagonists – another great advice blog from K.M. Weiland. A lot of her advice makes perfect sense, considering how much importance I’m putting on creating the perfectly imperfect antagonist.
Think of a Synopsis as a First Date – interesting take on how to make writing a synopsis more rewarding for the writer.
Battle Song of the Storyteller – can I get an amen to everything that is so fucking awesome about Chuck Wendig?
Alright, an excerpt. My protagonist, Daniel, waxes rhapsodic about the night he met the One That Got Away.
Love it, hate it, tell me what you think.
“Nice bruises,” she said, pointing to the cuts and bruises on my right hand. “Punching the walls again, tough guy?” I shrugged, sheepishly, making up some story about breaking up a fight. The other guy got it worse, I told her. Dammit. I should have covered my bruises a little better than that.
A waitress comes by and refills our coffee mugs. I came clean and told her I was fighting in an underground boxing club. Once or twice a week. I felt her fingertips stroking my bruises, as if Emma was trying to learn some secret of me from those cuts.
She leaned over, and cut a pair of conspiratorial looks from side to side. “You’re one of the ‘changed ones’, aren’t you?” she whispered. I knew what she meant: mutated. I disliked the term “changed ones.” Bad enough you already feel like a freak; worse yet when the whole non-mutated world calls you something that makes it seem like you’re only deserving of either their pity or their scorn. Though I could understand the scorn business.
“I’ve met a few. My uncle went through a change. He could see through walls. Kind of hard to keep things a secret from him when he’s around, you know?”
“Yeah, I know,” I said, taking a good long gulp of fresh, hot coffee Her hand was now covering my bruise-covered hand. I felt safe, for once. I took another sip of coffee. “I’m awkward to begin with. Having strength that’s immeasurable and beyond my control makes me feel isolated, like I can’t reveal who I am to the world for fear they’ll reject me for some reason. Either because I’m too strong for my own good, or…ah, I don’t know. I feel isolated. Maybe isolated isn’t the right word. Maybe, like, I don’t know why I suddenly mutated, and what it all means for me. So I keep it to myself. The fighting thing, I guess I’m just drawn to that. I was such a pussy as a kid, avoiding fights of any kind. I never wanted to get into a fight for fear of getting beat up, you know?”
I didn’t tell her some of the fighters in that club are also mutated, hence the whole secrecy thing. It really wasn’t that secret, though. People talk. The fact that more guys didn’t show up only meant anyone who was participating only wanted to keep this for themselves.
Emma nodded her head, and ran her fingertips along my knuckles. Those fingertips gave me goosebumps. We kept talking longer, me talking about myself without revealing too much. Emma came to NYC fromIowa, to pursue a masters’ degree in business from New York University. Judging from her looks, she seemed more like an art student, or a writer searching for her big break. New York City didn’t scare you, I asked. She laughed; Iowa is far scarier.
You’re interesting, I declared. Emma didn’t think of herself as interesting. Just a farm girl, she insisted, but she was really from Des Moines, looking to make her own little place in NYC. And she was interesting. She loved punk rock (anyone who knew the Dictators were the link between the Stooges and the Ramones knew her punk rock), post-modern literature (”You love The Crying of Lot 49? Me too!”), and samurai films – she righteously defended Three Outlaw Samurai as the definitive samurai film, although I was inclined to consider Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai Trilogy to be the definitive statement on the genre. I was loving knowing those things about her. Kindred Spirit was the term coming to mind. We drank more coffee and shared two slices of carrot cake. I was thrilled I wasn’t making her run away.
Then she told me she was an intern with a rather unusual company named the League of Champions. Had I heard of them, she asked.
I pretended to know nothing of this League of Champions.
“Apparently they recruit guys like you, you know, people who’ve mutated and have abilities that can be used to fight bad guys, you know?”
“Like an FBI, except they’re superheroes, right?” I sniffed. Not quite the way Marco described it, but close enough.
“Oh, sure,” she replied, shaking her head, mocking my sniffing at her explanation. “You know what, tough guy? You should be a superhero.”
I shrugged, but the piercing look in Emma’s eyes was telling me she was earnest, even deadly serious. “I’m not heroic. I’m not hero-material,” I protest.
“Neither was Peter Parker,” was her reply.